2020 Lexus RX Series vs. 2020 Acura RDX

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

© 1999 - 2019 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2019/10/16

For enhanced safety, the front and rear seat shoulder belts of the Lexus RX Series have pretensioners to tighten the seatbelts and eliminate dangerous slack in the event of a collision and force limiters to limit the pressure the belts will exert on the passengers. The Acura RDX doesn’t offer pretensioners for the rear seat belts.

The RX Series has standard Active Headrests, which use a specially designed headrest to protect the driver and front passenger from whiplash. During a rear-end collision, the Active Headrests system moves the headrests forward to prevent neck and spine injuries. The RDX doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

Over 200 people are killed each year when backed over by motor vehicles. The RX Series offers optional Auto Brake that uses rear sensors to monitor and automatically apply the brakes to prevent a rear collision. The RDX doesn’t offer backup collision prevention brakes.

Both the RX Series and the RDX have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver and front passenger knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front wheel drive, height adjustable front shoulder belts, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, lane departure warning systems, rearview cameras, available all wheel drive, blind spot warning systems, around view monitors and rear cross-path warning.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does 35 MPH front crash tests on new vehicles. In this test, results indicate that the Lexus RX Series is safer than the Acura RDX:

RX Series

RDX

Driver

STARS

4 Stars

4 Stars

HIC

265

300

Passenger

STARS

4 Stars

4 Stars

HIC

176

353

Chest Compression

.4 inches

.6 inches

Leg Forces (l/r)

403/259 lbs.

362/441 lbs.

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

Warranty

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The RX Series’ corrosion warranty is 1 year longer than the RDX’s (6 vs. 5 years).

Reliability

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A reliable vehicle saves its owner time, money and trouble. Nobody wants to be stranded or have to be without a vehicle while it’s being repaired. Consumer Reports rates the RX Series’ reliability 38 points higher than the RDX.

J.D. Power and Associates rated the RX Series first among midsize premium suvs in their 2019 Initial Quality Study. The RDX isn’t in the top three in its category.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Lexus vehicles are better in initial quality than Acura vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Lexus 8th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 20 more problems per 100 vehicles, Acura is ranked 24th, below the industry average.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Lexus vehicles are more reliable than Acura vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Lexus first in reliability, above the industry average. With 65 more problems per 100 vehicles, Acura is ranked 26th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Lexus vehicles are more reliable than Acura vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Lexus first in reliability. Acura is ranked 13th.

Engine

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The RX 350’s standard 3.5 DOHC V6 produces 23 more horsepower (295 vs. 272) than the RDX’s 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. The RX 450h’s standard 3.5 DOHC V6 hybrid produces 36 more horsepower (308 vs. 272) than the RDX’s 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

As tested in Motor Trend the RX 350 3.5 DOHC V6 is faster than the Acura RDX:

RX Series

RDX

Zero to 30 MPH

2.3 sec

2.6 sec

Zero to 60 MPH

6.8 sec

7.1 sec

Zero to 80 MPH

11.2 sec

11.8 sec

Quarter Mile

15.1 sec

15.5 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

92.7 MPH

90.7 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

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On the EPA test cycle the RX 450h gets better fuel mileage than the RDX AWD (31 city/28 hwy vs. 21 city/27 hwy).

Regenerative brakes improve the RX Series Hybrid’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The RDX doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.

The RX Series’ standard fuel tank has 2.1 gallons more fuel capacity than the RDX (19.2 vs. 17.1 gallons).

Transmission

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The RX 450h has a standard continuously variable transmission (CVT). With no “steps” between gears, it can keep the engine at the most efficient speed for fuel economy, or keep it at its peak horsepower indefinitely for maximum acceleration. The RDX doesn’t offer a CVT.

Brakes and Stopping

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For better stopping power the RX Series’ brake rotors are larger than those on the RDX:

RX Series

RDX

Front Rotors

12.9 inches

12.4 inches

Rear Rotors

13.3 inches

12.2 inches

The RX Series’ standard front and rear disc brakes are vented to help dissipate heat for shorter stops with less fading. The rear discs on the RDX are solid, not vented.

The RX Series stops much shorter than the RDX:

RX Series

RDX

60 to 0 MPH

123 feet

133 feet

Motor Trend

Suspension and Handling

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For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the RX Series’ wheelbase is 1.5 inches longer than on the RDX (109.8 inches vs. 108.3 inches).

The RX 350 executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver quicker than the RDX AWD (27.1 seconds @ .63 average G’s vs. 27.7 seconds @ .62 average G’s).

Passenger Space

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The RX Series has 2.5 inches more front legroom, 1.6 inches more front hip room, .8 inches more rear headroom, 6.2 inches more rear hip room and 1 inch more rear shoulder room than the RDX.

For enhanced passenger comfort on long trips the RX Series’ rear seats recline. The RDX’s rear seats don’t recline.

Towing

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Maximum trailer towing in the Acura RDX is limited to 1500 pounds. The RX Series offers up to a 3500 lbs. towing capacity.

Servicing Ease

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J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Lexus service is better than Acura. J.D. Power ranks Lexus second in service department satisfaction. With a 15% lower rating, Acura is ranked 6th.

Ergonomics

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The RX Series’ rain-sensitive wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically based on the amount of rainfall on the windshield. This allows the driver to concentrate on driving without constantly adjusting the wipers. The RDX’s standard intermittent wipers change speed with vehicle speed, but can’t turn on and off or change speed based on changing rainfall.

In poor weather, headlights can lose their effectiveness as grime builds up on their lenses. This can reduce visibility without the driver realizing. The RX Series offers available headlight washers to keep headlight output high. The RDX doesn’t offer headlight washers.

To help drivers avoid possible obstacles, the RX Series offers optional cornering lights to illuminate around corners when the turn signals are activated. The RDX doesn’t offer cornering lights. The RX Series also offers optional adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle.

The RX Series offers optional automatic dimming rear and side view mirrors which automatically darken quickly when headlights shine on them, keeping following vehicles from blinding or distracting the driver. The RDX has an automatic rear view mirror, but its side mirrors don’t dim.

The RX Series offers an optional 115-volt a/c outlet on the center console, allowing you to recharge a laptop or run small household appliances without special adapters that can break or get misplaced. The RDX doesn’t offer a house-current electrical outlet.

Economic Advantages

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Insurance will cost less for the RX Series owner. The Car Book by Jack Gillis rates the RX Series with a number “5” insurance rate while the RDX is rated higher at a number “10” rate.

The RX Series will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The IntelliChoice estimates that the RX Series will retain 46.6% to 51.56% of its original price after five years, while the RDX only retains 43.71% to 46.51%.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the RX Series is less expensive to operate than the RDX because it costs $9 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost less on the RX Series than the RDX, including $170 less for front brake pads, $69 less for a fuel pump and $135 less for front struts.

Recommendations

© 1999 - 2019 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2019/10/16

Consumer Reports® recommends the Lexus RX Series, based on reliability, safety and performance. The Acura RDX isn't recommended.

The Lexus RX Series outsold the Acura RDX by 31% during 2018.

© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.

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